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Not sure what my problem is, any help appreciated


smallstar
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Hi everyone, I am 26 years old and am recently finding myself becoming more and more discouraged. I have always been an extremely shy person, to the point where I could not physically speak in school. I don't believe I am as shy now but I feel like there is definitely something wrong with myself. I have never had a boyfriend in my entire life. I am actually embarassed by this and it is something I discuss with noone. I desperatley want to get married and have children. That is where I always saw my life going since I was a child. I guess that I always just figured that everything just happens in life, I mean like for everyone else, like there's a natural progression in life that isn't something that requires effort, but for some reason I have not progressed. I don't go out all that often but when I do even if a guy starts talking to me I do not trust it, it scares me. I guess I sort of think, why is He talking to Me. If I have an interest in him I am afraid to show it, what if he was just being nice, friendly, not flirting. I am so afraid of doing or saying the wrong thing that I pretty much ignore people. I just stay close to the people I am there with, which is usually my siblings and their friends. My brothers and sister always jokingly refer to me as the "crazy" sibling. Don't get me wrong they are not trying to hurt my feelings, they don't realize the anxiety that I endure and I just laugh with them. Meanwhile I am thinking what is wrong with me. Sometimes I get somewhere and I am so upset I just shut down. I just want to go home. Sometimes people say to me just tell me what is wrong, tell me what is on your mind, and I so desperately want to answer them but I have no idea what to say. I will just stare them right in the eye, almost like I am trying to get them to read my mind. I say nothing, they just get frustrated and give up. Anyway I recently joined a dating website and went out on the first date of my entire life. I tried so hard to be normal. I drugged myself, I know no good, but otherwise I would not have made it. I took percocets, valium and a caffeine pill all before he even got there. The valium calmed me down, the caffeine sped me up so I may have something to say and the percocets just help everything, it didn't work out

Edited by smallstar
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Why on earth would you want to be 'normal' ?

Anyone that'll like you because your 'normal' is someone that will suck your soul out through your tears and spit you into the gutter. Your better than that and you need better than that.

I think dating is evil anyway ... no wonder it's stressing you out.

Speaking for myself, if I were to date someone (ugh) I would find it flattering that she would be so nervous that she couldn't speak or do anything. I'd just sit there and enjoy her company, nothing spoken, nothing proven. Just time spent with someone who's real and is affected by me. A beautiful start to a relationship if you ask me.

Edited by silentmist
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thank you silentmist. I understand what you're saying but I still feel like I'm missing something essential to make it in this world. Don't you think it's odd for someone who is 26 yrs old has never had a relationship? I don't know I just feel like I'm stuck and I'll never be where I want to be

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A wise person once told me, "if you are too afraid to make an ass of yourself, nothing good will ever happen to you." It is the inevitable fact that you WILL make an ass of yourself. I do it all the time. And to tell you the truth, The best times of my life have been about making a complete and total ass of myself. Not for anyone else's enjoyment besides my own.

Now I don't have much dating experience, but I can tell you one thing, you can't expect them to fall into your lap. You have to be proactive. Because if you're too afraid to make that next leap, when time comes to begin a relationship what are you going to do? The bravery is not in the first date, it is making leaps and crossing the mile markers as you go.

Now thing about the guy you went on a date with, I understand that you feel rejected. But in the end that lays no relevance or fault towards you, the blame is rested on his shoulders. The best course of action to search again. And I know it seems impossible. But believe you me it's not. Because anybody can land the love of their life, it just takes a little work, and a little bravery. And remember what bravery is, it NOT the absence of fear, but the resolve to walk through the fear and come out the other side. And I believe you have it.

And by the way, do not let your lack of a love life dismay you, or embarrass you. It is nothing to be ashamed of. Many people have problems finding people to spend time with. You're still new at this, so take this as experience, take it with stride, and may your next endeavor be more successful.

- Anonymous

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pseudonym, thank you for your response, I know I shouldn't be afraid but I don't know. It takes so much effort than its all for nothing. I don't even know if I liked this guy so I don't know why I got so upset by his message, how do I miss him if I only met him once? Before we met we chatted alot via im, maybe thats what I miss, I don't know. But this was a few weeks ago and I can't get over it. I don't know what my problem is. I keep going back and reading his message, I keep hoping he'll im me again

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Sadstar,

Sorry things did not work with the guy you just met but that is going to happen a lot. It happens to everyone until you meet the right person.

There is nothing wrong with having anxiety and we are not trying to tell you not to be anxious because that is not possible. The idea is to date even though you are nervous.

You know, socializing is a skill and the only way to learn the skill is to do it and make mistakes. When some asks you what you are thinking and you cannot say, just tell them the truth: "oh, I don't know, maybe I'm just too nervous to think." Admit to your anxiety. That is a therapeutic tecnique that can work. Instead of trying to hide shyness and anxiety, openly admit it, look them in the eye and say "I am shy and I am nervous."

What do you think?

Allan:)

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Hi Allan, I think as I get older I am now more able to be open about the fact that I am nervous and get anxious, really that I don't do well socially. When I was younger I would have said there was no way I could just tell someone that I was too nervous to talk. I don't know but I will definitely try doing what you suggest because I feel that that is something I could do. I mean it is what it is and I guess it's better than saying nothing :P I am working on it, I am trying to be more confident and not worry so much but sometimes it's hard. I think that after I turned 17 and got my first job it really helped. Prior to that I was just unbearably shy and didn't even know how to respond to people. Now that I have been working with the public for so many years I am more than able to communicate with people on a business level. I am good at my job and am I have no trouble at all being shy nervous anxious or anything, it is great. However when it comes to anything personal I just shut down, it's so weird, I mean a question as simple as, What kind of music do you listen to?, just totally baffles me and I don't respond. I don't know I guess I will figure it out. Thank you for the advice, I will try it.

Edited by smallstar
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Uncomfortable silences are inevitable ... I think you'lll find that they are harmless, even funny. Sometimes it's nice just to sit and soak up the company around you. Also, your first meeting with him doesn't have to be a 'date' (not sure what that really means anyway), it could be just going out with a friend, no expecatations. Besides, if an intimate couple can't be friends to each other then the relationship probably wouldn't last anyway, IMO.

thank you silentmist. I understand what you're saying but I still feel like I'm missing something essential to make it in this world. Don't you think it's odd for someone who is 26 yrs old has never had a relationship? I don't know I just feel like I'm stuck and I'll never be where I want to be

Missing something essential ? .... ooo do tell! :rolleyes:

I'm 33 and have never had a relationship. I'm stuck in this body of mine and people won't see me for who I am. It's extremely frustrating! I don't know if thats how you feel 'stuck' or not ... let us know :D

Being as your physically attractive you shouldn't have any major problems getting the affection you need from people. It's probably a matter of confidence with you. Experience will help with that, just like your first job did with your shyness.

Zac :)

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Hi Zac, thank you for your encouragement, on an intellectual level I can completely understand what you are saying however mentally I can not handle this! I am meeting him tonight, I know that this isn't going to help anything in the long run but I have drugs I can take to relax, I don't feel he gave me enough time to prepare myself for this, he only asked me last night and now I have to meet him tonight, I have to work all day till 4:30, I don't know I just wish I would have told him I was busy this weekend to give me more time but I already said yes. :rolleyes: :eek: I wish I had some of your confidence silentmist, you seem so peaceful , I don't know what will happen and I'm really not that interested in finding. You are very kind to me, thank you

Edited by smallstar
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Perhaps the high levels of anxiety are due to high expectations ... I don't know what the rest of your social life is like. Perhaps your feeling a lot of importance and meaning to this one social event with one person.

I can relate to your notion of understanding something on an intellectual level but it not helping the emotional anxiety ... for many people in this forum and the world I think thats true.

Your desire for avoidance is something i can relate to as well, speaking as someone who was labled with the tag of 'avoidant personality disorder' by one psychologist.

I think it comes down to this ... What do you want ?

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Sadstar, I’m sorry I didn’t reply to you sooner. I just read over your post and I could have written many of the same words myself. I hope to have a family someday but I have never even had a boyfriend. Social interactions really confuse me… and you all know that I have other problems. I’m upset for days after a bad date. Anyway...unfortunately no words of advice, I just wanted to say that I can relate.

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Hi finding my way, thank you so much for your encouragement! This is definitely easily the scariest thing I've ever done. I 've never even considered it before, honestly I don't know where this courage is coming from but I just really hope everything works out. I know it's not logical thinking but I just have this feeling that this is my only chance, that if it doesn't work out with this new guy that I won't have another opportunity. So far it is going good so I just hope that I don't mess it up! I am glad that sharing my experiences could possibly help someone. You can ask me any questions if you think I could help you :)

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Aha!! you've just discovered a limiting belief:

"I just have this feeling that this is my only chance, that if it doesn't work out with this new guy that I won't have another opportunity."

Is that true? Really? No! But believing it is putting all hopes on this one experience which is way too much and of course really stressing you out.

I'm all excited for you because I think you're doing CBT, rooting out your limiting beliefs:p Allan, help us out here!:(

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Aha!! you've just discovered a limiting belief:

"I just have this feeling that this is my only chance, that if it doesn't work out with this new guy that I won't have another opportunity."

Is that true? Really? No! But believing it is putting all hopes on this one experience which is way too much and of course really stressing you out.

I'm all excited for you because I think you're doing CBT, rooting out your limiting beliefs:p Allan, help us out here!:(

Your excitement makes me feel happy, like I'm doing something right! :) I am really gonna try to not screw this up. Everything just seems so delicate that it's really hard to handle everything, but I'm trying!! Thanks for your support

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Aw, go ahead, screw it up. It's OK! Really! My first therapist said "I love making mistakes; that's how I learn!" I know it sounds crazy, but he is right. Screwing up is OK. Living so full of anxiety because you fear screwing up is not OK.... because it is an impossible set up! You WILL screw up sometimes!! That IS OK!!!:(

"I want my parents to be happy" Another limiting belief!!! What a haul in your bucket of fish. Can anyone but your parents make your parents happy????

Take your clown out to lunch or something... he needs a break:)

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Aw, go ahead, screw it up. It's OK! Really! My first therapist said "I love making mistakes; that's how I learn!" I know it sounds crazy, but he is right. Screwing up is OK. Living so full of anxiety because you fear screwing up is not OK.... because it is an impossible set up! You WILL screw up sometimes!! That IS OK!!!:(

"I want my parents to be happy" Another limiting belief!!! What a haul in your bucket of fish. Can anyone but your parents make your parents happy????

Take your clown out to lunch or something... he needs a break:)

Finding my Way, I can't screw it up :) I can't think of a worse statement. If I screw this up I don't know what I'll do. I know you learn from mistakes, but this isn't something I want to learn from, lol. This is something that just has to work.

As for my parents, yes I think that my life can make my parents happy or unhappy, easily. I feel a lot of pressure not to disappoint them, they have given everything to me, I'd like to be able to give something back. If I am unhappy it hurts them just as much as if they are unhappy it hurts me. I don't know if you can understand this but as much as I love my parents and they are good people, their hearts are in the right place, but at the same time they hold me back in so many ways and they don't even know it. I try so hard to balance my life and their life along with my siblings lives to try and keep everyone "okay". I know this probably doesn't make sense because there is just so much there that I can't talk about :)

Edited by smallstar
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Star,

I re-read your initial post in this thread, and the way it has turned out, and I need to tell you a story. No, it's not about a man named Brady; this one's mine.

I was 40 and had never had a serious girlfriend. I was just too ... well guarded, I guess. I was superficially fairly normal, not a shut-in. I dated occasionally. I just had a limit that I wouldn't let anyone get beyond.

Eventually, I met a woman who was divorced, with a 12-year-old son. I guess I had always hoped to be needed the way they, especially he, needed a man to complete their family. It very quickly became very important to me that I make this relationship work. I began to pull away from friends and from my family, because underneath, I was afraid that they would poke holes in this dream I was living in. I eventually married her.

Fast forward about seven years. Our son is a sophomore in college, our marriage has been fairly hellish, and I still haven't really let anyone in. Certainly not my wife, who had her own issues, which I had never allowed myself to see before we married.

What I'm saying is, you have plenty of time to learn to be you. Better to do it before you try to make the marriage dream happen, than after the divorce, the way I'm going to have to.

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hmmmm, I understand ;) thank you for sharing your story. I don't know what to do, I just feel like I'm getting older, and nothing is happening in my life and I am running out of time. It's like I have just stopped progressing, I can't be done, can I? Right now things are going pretty good but I feel like I am about to mess it up at any moment. I have this strong feeling that something bad is going to happen soon, I don't see any future for myself, I just have this strange sense that nothing is real. I feel like I am just teetering, like I'm on the edge, of either something really good happening or like everything is just going to come crashing down. I don't know if I'm making sense but everything in my life seems so up in the air I just can't manage to keep everything in order. But anyway as much as I really need everything to work out with this guy at the same time I kind of feel like I wish I never met him. He's just something else for me to try and balance but I also need him and need this to work in order for everything else to be okay. I don't even know what I'm trying to say so I'm sure I'm not making sense. I think it's because I'm trying to describe a feeling and that is hard to do. I feel like I just need a break. I would love to be left alone and not have to worry about anybody. Now I just feel like screaming lol, I can't think about this anymore.

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